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Friday, September 19, 2014

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Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth


Dental care is an important part of supporting oral health care in children. Proper dental care helps to give children the foundations to developing healthy, strong teeth. Toddlers as early as 1 year old are ready to visit the dentist and get a basic cleaning, and from then on, parents have the responsibility to ensure that their children have dental checkups. Pediatric dentists recommend that children receive a dental check-up every six months to help prevent dental problems in the future. In addition to visiting the dentist periodically, many parents search for tips and resources on how to protect their children’s teeth.

Maintaining a balanced diet of foods in the five food groups and minimizing the consumption of candy, chips, sugary juices and soda drinks can go a long way in preventing cavities and tooth decay. Parents should always brush their children’s teeth in the morning and before bedtime with fluoride toothpaste. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, there are several strategies that parents can use to help promote healthy teeth in children, which can lead to healthy teeth in adulthood.

Studies show that cheese provides calcium and protein for the body to help support strong bones and healthy teeth. Recent studies have also shown that cheese protects the teeth from acid build-up and cavities by helping to clear away debris that causes bacteria and tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorous in cheese also help to replace lost minerals in teeth caused by acid. Some of the well-liked types of sliced cheese and cheese sticks that children love are Cheddar, Mozzarella and Swiss. They are great products to add with meals and for snacks.

Sippy cups are used to help toddlers transition from bottles to regular drinking cups. Many parents of toddlers allow their children to drink sugary drinks throughout the day. However, dental experts believe that toddlers who regularly drink sugary beverages from sippy cups are at risk for developing cavities and tooth decay at an early age. There has been increase over the years in cavities found in toddlers from ages 2 to 5 years old. Experts recommend that parents reduce the amount of sugary drinks in sippy cups, except during mealtime, and replace the drinks with water. This is a healthy tip to prevent dental decay as well as costly dental problems.

It’s beneficial to find a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentists, especially for toddlers and young children. When you take your toddler to the dentist for the first time, pediatric dentists are well trained in many techniques to help children remain comfortable and happy during the visit. Pediatric dentists are also experts at finding fun ways to help children overcome the fear of getting a dental checkup. There are helpful resources online to search for pediatric dentists in your area. Popular dentistry networks, such as Kool Smiles, provide a convenient way for parents to search online for pediatric dentists near specific cities and zip codes. These types of dentistry networks are well-known in cities around the country.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

fresh air: Purggo bamboo charcoal car air filter


purggo car air filter

Did grandma leave the unpleasant aromatic remains of her favorite discount perfume all over your car, did your cousin sneak a smoke in your backseat last week, did your lab, Rufus, take a dip in the local swamp and then decided to ride shotgun in your Subaru? If so, or you have issues with any of a thousand airborne scents, you might want to consider installing one of these all-natural, Purggo bamboo air purifiers in your ride. These eco-friendly air filters contain 100% all-natural bamboo charcoal and are German-engineered, patent-pending, and nicely designed.

purggo car air filter install

It’s a crazy fact that the FDA doesn’t regulate most of the ingredients that manufacturers put into air fresheners. Many popular brands of air fresheners put whatever chemicals they want inside their products – and many of those chemicals can be incredibly harmful to the human body. A recent independent study conducted on the popular air freshener Febreze by Environmental Working Group revealed up to 89 air contaminants in the product, yet the label on Febreze only listed 5 ingredients.

The Purggo filter avoids all manner of additives and chemicals and is designed to eliminate odors instead of just masking them. As air passes through the filter’s pores, odor particles are trapped on the surfaces inside, purifying the air in your car – simply and naturally. No funky fragrances, added VOCs or harmful chemicals – this little air purifier is allergen- free.

Other features:

  • It’s economical – Purggo works passively 24/7 and lasts more than 365 days.
  • The outer shell is made of renewable hemp fabric.
  • Sustainably designed – no plastic components.
  • No masking fragrance or chemical additives.
  • Made with renewable bamboo.
  • 100% asthma and allergy friendly
  • Safe for the kid’s, the pooch, or grandma to sit right next to.

Purggo air filter on car seat

The bamboo charcoal in Purggo is 4x more porous than regular charcoal and has been activated and carbonized between 1110°F – 1300°F (600°C – 700°C). This form of bamboo charcoal has been used for thousands of years in many Asian countries to purify both air and water.

If you don’t want to hang the purifier from your car’s headrest it will work just as well on the seat. You can even use it in a bathroom or bedroom for some passive air purification and odor removal.

Purggo is about to complete a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, but – if you pre-order a Purggo by December 15th – you can still get it for $29.95 Kickstarter discount price – just visit Purggo.com (official product roll-out is 12/15/14)

related: more health and beauty product reviews from The Alternative Consumer

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Gorgeous and Green: 3 Secret Eco-Friendly Beauty Tips


red lips

It’s not always easy being gorgeous and green.

When you’re busy helping look after the world, the flawlessness of your skin, perfection of your eyebrows and fullness of your lips tend to take a back seat.

Also, with the vast number of goods us eco-friendly beauty queens simply can’t use, it can be more than a little challenging finding the perfect product to mesh with our daily routine AND our beliefs.

Consequently, if you’re finding it extremely difficult to know where to begin, we’re here to talk you through some of the more environmentally friendly ways you can buff up your daily beauty routine.

Take Advantage of Mineral Foundation
More and more, people are beginning to understand the benefits of natural makeup and mineral foundation, which, unlike liquid foundation, uses a finely ground powder to help cover any blemishes, age spots and uneven skin.

Importantly, mineral foundation doesn’t contain any nasty oils, talc, dyes or perfume, meaning your skin will enjoy a perfect colour match and an instant soft-focus effect thanks to the light-reflecting minerals contained within.

Use Bars of Soap
This may not be popular, but by swapping your shower gel for bar soap, it’ll cut down on the need to use plastic bottles to contain your body wash. Of course you recycle, but in case it slips your mind, it’s best to stick to good, old fashioned soap.

To take it one step further with your eco-friendliness, make sure you only buy soap from companies who use recycled materials to package their product – but if not, try to do your bit for the environment by doing it for them.

Manufacture Your Own Products
Following on from the point above, when we consider the packaging cosmetics tend to be wrapped in, the impact on the environment is tangible. Additionally, the synthetic chemicals synonymous with some products can wreak havoc on sensitive skin.

Indeed, National Geographic’s Green Guide has revealed the average adult uses nine personal care products a day, with almost 120 chemicals combined. Nice. The solution? Make your own! Not only is it great fun (promise), you’ll know exactly what’s going into the product you make.

While this should be enough to get you started on the route a comprehensively eco-friendly beauty routine, it’s worthwhile conducting further research, which will allow you to systematically introduce other beautification techniques into the fray.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Eating Habits That Prevent Hair Loss


selfie man

The first sign of a poor diet when it comes to your appearance usually starts with your skin. In as little as one week of a bad diet, you may come up in spots as well as losing your usual vibrant colouring. Hair on the other hand can take a few months of a poor quality diet before you will start to notice a deficiency, although food isn’t the only thing playing a part in hair loss. Smoking and sleep deprivation are also key players when it comes to hair loss; another two areas which are also preventable. Sometimes, however, hair loss can be unavoidable, triggered by genetic and not lifestyle factors. Unfortunately in these instances costly surgery might be your only choice if you want to keep hold of your youthful looks and your flowing locks.

Consuming a balanced diet
Consuming a balanced and delicious diet may sound harder to maintain than it actually is. In order to follow a good diet to prevent hair loss, it is useful to know which foods provide the nutrients you need to sustain a healthy appearance.

Zinc
Zinc is one of the key drivers in maintaining healthy hair follicles. When your body is low on zinc your hair follicles will become weak and may even fall out. Some foods which contain zinc consist of red meats, nuts, spinach and cocoa.

Protein
As hair is made up of protein it is understandable why it is needed for healthy hair growth. Lean proteins such as fish, eggs, chicken and yogurt should all be consumed in moderation.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A promotes the growth of cells and tissue which includes your hair and scalp. This vitamin is fed into our body through animal and plant sources. Vegetables such as carrots, dark leafy greens such as Rocket or Kale and animal produce such as fish oil, liver and eggs all contain the much needed vitamin.

Vitamin C
The human body cannot store large amounts of Vitamin C at any one time so trying to overload with an intake of the vitamin won’t be beneficial for hair growth. To regularly include Vitamin C within your diet, make sure you eat fruit and vegetables such as oranges, melons, peppers and tomatoes, all of which are rich in the vitamin.

H20
We should all know by now that the recommended daily amount of water is at least 8 glasses a day. Hydration is one of the most important factors needed for healthy hair and good health in general. If you aren’t doing so already, make sure you get into the habit of drinking more water every day.

Start introducing these eating habits into your diet and see if you notice a difference in your appearance. Remember healthy hair isn’t as instant a result as healthier looking skin.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Can you hear me now? Choosing the right hearing aid


Have you been diagnosed with hearing loss? Hearing aids can restore significant amounts of your auditory function if you take the time to choose the right brand with the right calibrations. If you’re in the market for hearing aids, here are eight tips for finding the perfect model.

Aquavi hearing aid1. Determine Your Level of Hearing Loss
If it’s been awhile since your last trip to the audiologist, make an appointment to figure out how much your hearing loss has progressed, stalled or tapered off over the years. You’ll need an accurate and up-to-date assessment of your hearing in order to find the equipment that’s right for you.

2. Give Yourself a Price Range
Hearing aids can set you back anywhere from $300 to $3,000, so if you’re on a budget, it’s important that you don’t buy anything beyond your means. Keep in mind that the hearing aids themselves will only be part of your expenses; you’ll also be responsible for cleanings, fittings and overall upkeep.

3. Think About the Canal
Most hearing aids fall under one of two umbrellas: in the canal or outside the canal. Ones in the canal are custom designed for the shape of your ear, offering more comfort, better acoustics and less visibility to others. Ones outside the canal, however, have longer shelf lives and advanced features like volume control.

4. Choose a Style
Once you’ve decided where the hearing aid will sit on your ear, it’s time to decide which shell you prefer. Half shells are smaller and less obtrusive than full shells, but their battery power corresponds to their size, so full shells are better for severe hearing loss. On the other hand, full shells tend to pick up more wind and background noises, which can be a nuisance for the sensitive.

5. Pick a Brand
Choosing a brand for your hearing aids is almost as important as choosing the style itself. If you have problems with your model down the line or you’re looking for tips and tricks for sound amplification, the manufacturer will determine how to fix, adjust or optimize your hearing aids.

6. Check Their Credentials
Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any complaints against your chosen brand. The good ones shouldn’t have any negative feedback at all. For example, if you choose hearing aids from Miracle Ear, you’ll see that the Miracle Ear BBB listing contains no consumer complaints.

7. Ask About Guarantees
Most hearing aid companies offer some kind of warranty for their products, but the length of these promises can vary depending on the brand. Others might be willing to give you a trial period for 1-3 months so you can familiarize yourself with the technology before making a final decision.

8. Splurge on the Extras
Hearing aids have progressed beyond little nubs that only transfer sound. The more advanced models come with everything from directional microphones to Bluetooth capabilities. If your bank account will allow it, think about investing in a pair of hearing aids that will give you all the comforts and conveniences of modern living.

These are just eight suggestions for finding the perfect hearing aids. With the right equipment, you can walk in the sunshine and enjoy the sound of birds chirping right in your ear.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

kickstarter green find: yoloha cork yoga mats


cork yoga mat yoloha

We love yoga and we love renewable cork  — Yoloha is currently raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign for the manufacture of their innovative cork yoga mat. The top surface of Yoloha mats utilize a natural cork surface. Each mat is hand-built and features an unmatched grip that increases the more you sweat.

handmade yoloha yoga mat

The mat is also self cleaning – cork is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, naturally eliminating bad smells, bacteria, and mold. No need to wipe these mats clean.

cork yoga mat girl

Yoholo has been working with cork for many years on surfboards and other products and have a deep understanding of cork.

Eco-friendly features:

  • The mat is 100% recyclable with eco-friendly materials that contain no PVC’s or harmful chemicals.
  • Cork and rubber are some of the most durable and resilient materials on the planet.
  • Cork is a 100% natural, renewable and recyclable material.
  • The cork used in the mat’s construction is obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process. Trees are not cut down to harvest the cork, rather, the bark is peeled off by hand every 9 years. Cork oak trees can live up to 300 years.
  • Backing of the yoga mat is comprised of 90% domestically produced recycled rubber tires.
  • The entire mat is recyclable and all of the leftover scrap from producing Yoloha mats are reground to be used in new products.

yoloha cork yoga mat

The Yoloha Kickstarter campaign will be on-going for another 10 days. They are offering pledgers a variety of neat Yoloha associated stuff. Pledge $140 and you can get one of the first Yoloha cork yoga mats available – sometime in August. Due to cork’s inherent durability Yoholo guarantees the mat for a lifetime. Made entirely in the USA.

related: more eco-friendly health and beauty product reviews from The Alternative Consumer

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Dandelions: From Domestic Difficulty to Divine Delicacy


dandelion fieldDandelions are the scourge of the modern landscape. In their quest to take over your lush green lawn, those cunning weeds have evolved sunny flowers and delicate puffballs that are irresistible to human children. Before you know it, your landscape is pockmarked with yellow blooms, gangly dandelion clocks and spiky weeds. You’re on your hands and knees in your yard trying to uproot them with dandelion forks, but for each dandelion plant you uproot, three more emerge.

What you may not know about those troublesome dandelions is that their flowers, leaves and roots are great sources of nutrition. For example, both ancient and modern health practitioners have speculated about possible health benefits of dandelion root tea. They’ve used the tea for supporting gastrointestinal health and to eliminate water weight.  In addition to brewing dandelion root tea, people also enjoy dandelion greens and petals in a variety of dishes. Take a look at a few ways to transform this garden pest into a gastronomical delight.

Dandelion Root Tea
dandelion root teaBefore making your own dandelion root tea, consider trying commercially prepared tea from a trusted resource. The tea may have a slight laxative effect, so you should drink it at night to avoid potential problems during the workday. If you like commercially prepared tea and you want to make your own, try this easy method from Laurie Neverman of “Common Sense Homesteading“:

  1. Assemble your ingredients. You’ll need an ounce of fresh dandelion root, or one-half ounce of dried dandelion root, per pint of hot water. Neverman suggests adding an equal part of burdock root to help the body detoxify.
  2. Pour the water into a non-reactive teakettle or saucepan. Avoid aluminum kettles, which may react with the root and affect the flavor.
  3. Add the dandelion root. Make sure not to chop or cut the root until just before you add it to the water. Waiting keeps vital nutrients from being lost before you make your tea.
  4. Bring the water and root to a simmer. Simmer the tea until it’s lost about one-fourth of its original volume.
  5. Strain the tea. Place a mesh strainer or a couple of layers of cheesecloth over the open top of serving teapot. Pour the tea from the kettle into the pot, and discard the spent dandelion roots.
  6. Serve the tea. You can store dandelion root tea for a short time in the refrigerator, but you should discard unused tea after three days.

Delicious Dandelion Eats
dandelion greensDandelion leaves and petals can be transformed into dinnertime delights. For example, Langdon Cook, author of the “Fat of the Land” blog and several books, suggests making dandelion tempura from flower heads:

  1. Heat the oil. Start by heating some vegetable oil until it’s bubbling.
  2. Mix the batter. While the oil heats, mix three-fourths cups of flour and one-fourth cup of corn starch in a small bowl. In a second bowl, combine a lightly beaten egg with one-half cup of ice-cold water. Then, combine the dry and wet ingredients, adding a bit of extra cold water if needed to give the batter a runny texture.
  3. Batter and fry the dandelion flowers. Roll rinsed dandelion flower heads in the runny batter, shake off the excess and drop the flowers into the hot oil. Remove them from the oil when they’re golden brown, and serve them with other lightly battered and fried vegetables such as zucchini and bell pepper.

You can also pick dandelion leaves, rinse them well and wilt them in a sauté pan. Heat the pan and briefly fry some bacon or pancetta until the fat renders out. Scoop out the meat and set it aside. Sauté the greens in the residual fat until they wilt. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, add the meat back in and serve them in a bowl for a light summertime meal. Alternatively, add the wilted greens to soups or stir-fry dishes.

A Few Tips
Feel free to pick dandelions from your yard or gather them elsewhere, but avoid places where landscapers have sprayed weed killer. For example, never forage for dandelions near train tracks, interstate highways or telephone poles. Also, check the rules before foraging for dandelions in public parks. By following a few simple tips, you can transform dandelions from annoying weeds to fabulous food.

Dandelion field image by Vince Alongi on Flickr.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Avoid the Gimmicks: Reliable Ways to Get Rid of Medical Waste


We humans are always fascinated by the shock of the new. The latest gadget, the newest app or the most up-to-date car – we drool over these items more than a dog staring at a warm pork chop. But when it comes to medical waste, avoid all gimmicks – you want the tried, tested and true methods that have been honed for years. Indeed, as superbugs lurk down every corridor, pouncing on patients with a health-mugging, medical safety has never been more important. The letters MRSA have probably dominated the majority of news coverage in recent years, and neutralising it isn’t just the duty of antibiotics.

With effective pharmaceutical waste disposal, your medical practice – be it a miniscule GPs or a gargantuan hospital – will be able to combat germs and infections of all shapes and levels of severity. More than this, ineffective disposal will lead to poor publicity, as a Glasgow general practitioners recently found out. In local newspaper the Evening Times, it was reported that discarded rubbish and waste was being disposed of behind the surgery, leading to outrage from local residents. And bad PR equals bad business.

So what services should the alternative consumer find to make their medical practice as clean as can be?

Clinical Spillage Kit
Provided by specialist companies, a clinical spillage kit should contain everything you need to wipe up and disinfect areas where clinical waste has been spilled. Bear in mind that clinical waste is nothing like common-garden muck. Especially in a medical environment, this waste could contain hazardous diseases, including HIV, AIDS, hepatitis B or C and even smaller diseases such as E Coli or Mers.

With a clinical spillage kit you’ll have equipment to prepare you for every eventuality. It’ll put dangerous spills out of action for good.

Controlled Drug Denaturing Kit
Before out of date drugs can be disposed of, they must first be “denatured”, meaning they have to be altered to lose their strength. This isn’t just something you have to do if you feel like it – it’s in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Regulation 2001.

The highest quality denaturing kits are the easiest to use, making the retrieval of old drugs a near impossibility. Drug addicts have been known to swarm around surgery waste in the hope of a quick fix. But you can stop all that with a simple purchase of these kits.

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